BuzzFeed Sold Complex for $108.6M

BuzzFeed Sold Complex for $108.6M

News by Roberto Orosa
Published: February 22, 2024

BuzzFeed announced on Wednesday the sale of Complex, a prominent media startup that caters to streetwear and pop culture.

The sale, valued at $108.6 million, marks a significant move in BuzzFeed's strategy to alleviate financial pressures.

Despite Complex's substantial revenue generation of more than $55 million last year, the sale price exceeds BuzzFeed's own market capitalization, which stands at about $31 million.

BuzzFeed acquired the media outlet in 2021 for approximately $294 million in cash and stocks. 

Why Sell Complex?

Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed's co-founder and chief executive, emphasized the strategic importance of divesting Complex.

"Selling Complex was an important strategic step for the company. The changes we announced today will enable an exciting next stage for our company," he explained.

Additionally, BuzzFeed disclosed that it will be laying off 16% of its remaining workforce, a measure projected to save the company $23 million annually.

This restructuring is part of BuzzFeed's broader efforts to mitigate its debt amounting to more than $60 million.

The company is facing a deadline of $150 million in debt due by 2026, coupled with an additional $33.8 million from a line of credit.

Who Bought Complex?

NTWRK, an e-commerce company supported by LiveNation Entertainment and Main Street Advisors, has emerged as the buyer.

In addition to the purchase price worth $108.6 million, NTWRK will provide BuzzFeed with $5.7 million to cover severance expenses for Complex employees affected by the layoffs initiated by BuzzFeed.

Aaron Levant, the incoming chief executive of Complex under NTWRK's ownership, expressed optimism about the deal's potential.

"[The] deal would create the definitive global content, commerce and experiential platform of convergence culture," he shared.

Notably, First We Feast, the internet brand associated with Complex and home to the popular "Hot Ones" interview series about hot wings, will not be included in the sale.

Editing by Katherine 'Makkie' Maclang

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